This blog post was originally published on SFU's Psychology Instagram on 2020, November 18th.
"When I started my undergraduate degree in psychology, I knew that it was my passion to help people with mental illness, but I didn't really know what this would mean. As I took more psychology courses and started working as a research assistant, I realized how interested I was in the brain! After my undergraduate degree, I worked with Fraser Health to manage a project on assessing frailty in seniors. I loved working with the older adult patients, who had so many stories and wisdom to share. Through these experiences, I've come to realize that my calling is becoming a clinical neuropsychologist to help older adults and other individuals with psychiatric illnesses.
If you’re considering graduate school, get involved in a research lab to gain important experiences and to help you decide what you like (and don't like!). However, don’t get too caught up in thinking that you need to have everything figured out as an undergraduate student. Remember that graduate school is not a race; everyone works at their own paces and has their own unique stories. Above all, enjoy the journey and have confidence in yourself as an applicant!"
McKenzie is a graduate student in the Clinical Neuropsychology stream of the Clinical Psychology program. She is currently involved in Dr. Wendy Thornton's Cognitive Aging lab, and her master's thesis focuses on the relationship between anxiety symptoms and social cognition in healthy younger and older adults. As a member of Saddle Lake Cree Nation in Alberta, McKenzie is also the Graduate student representative for the Indigenous Reconciliation Committee in the Department of Psychology.